QP Live: Conservatives are preoccupied with a conference

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Manning Networking Conference at the Ottawa Convention Centre in Ottawa February 28, 2014. Photo by Blair Gable for Maclean’s Magazine

Canada’s right-of-centre political world is huddled inside the Ottawa Convention Centre, where its shining stars will energize the conservative movement at the sixth running of the Manning Networking Conference. Brad Wall! Jason Kenney! Preston Manning! Mark Steyn! Delegates are humbled in their wake.

Some of the Tory set will tend to business in the House of Commons, where the issues of the week are the government’s continued effort to impose electoral reform on a voting nation, and the Tory caucus’s apparent divisions over income splitting.

The issue of the day probably should be the incredibly low corporate taxes paid to government by a cunning cadre of Canadian companies, a disturbing truth unearthed by Canadian Business writer Duncan Hood. The storied powerhouse Canadian Pacific Railway, thanks to loopholes aplenty, managed to fork over just 1.8 per cent of its total income over the past 10 years.

The feds have allowed it all to happen. “This is not part of a larger government strategy to help Canadian businesses compete in a global marketplace,” writes Hood. “It’s the result of sloppy policy and backroom negotiations.” Gross stuff.

For times like these, Question Period was made.

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Pierre Poilievre, probably, because he’s Mr. Electoral Reform. Hopefully, someone will speak to the government’s record on corporate taxes.